Rose and her parents are on their annual summer trip to Awago Beach. Every year she has spent the summer swimming with her mother and building sand castles with her father. Rose even has a special ‘Awago friend’, Windy, whose mother rents a summer cabin just down the road. Rose’s summers have always been fun, but this summer is different. Her mother is recalcitrant, her father wants to go back to the city, and Rose just doesn’t have anything in common with Windy anymore. In an attempt to make the most of an unfortunate summer, Rose buries herself in the local gossip of Awago. However, once she has dug the hole, she finds drama much more intense and deeper than her own.
There are many different things going on in this novel: it focuses on mother-daughter relationships, friendships, and romantic jealousy. The authors manage to weave each plot into a beautiful story about growing up. Rose is the main protagonist, and the story is told from her perspective, but each character in this story is richly developed. Rose’s parents, Windy, Windy’s family, and the locals of Awago are all fleshed out, revealing more of the world Rose lives in, and how her own perspective may be flawed. To me this was a painfully honest depiction of a girl’s transition from preteen to teenager. Windy and Rose, while being at different stages of maturity in the story, are both incredibly relatable, and their depiction in the story was simultaneously nostalgic and embarrassing. This is never treated as a ‘bad’ thing; the girls are merely human. I would highly recommend this graphic novel to all readers aged 13 and beyond.